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Small Business Lessons as Taught By The Fast and Furious Movies

With worldwide box office earnings of over 5 billion, The Fast and Furious franchise is obviously a mega hit, ranking a solid seventh on the worldwide gross for film franchises. With their fast cars, buff bros, scantily clad women, and exotic filming locations, you may think these movie don’t have a lot to offer the average business owner. But you’d be wrong. Here are just a few lessons Fast and Furious can teach small business owners.

Organize your team

Vin Diesel, the patriarch of the franchise, routinely talks about family as a team. Family this. Teamwork that. In fact, in Fast Five Vin gives a rousing, eloquent, and heartfelt speech to his tribe, telling them “The most important thing in life will always be the people in this room. Right here. Right now.” But what he’s really talking about is that it is important to surround yourself with a trustworthy team of people that matter. In Vin’s case he’s assembled a team to steal millions of dollars from the local drug lord, but when you start a business, putting together a team is equally important.

Teamwork, while important, is not easy. Success comes from the top down, and percolates like a perfect pot of coffee. The leader has to build a team, with an eye for success and flexibility, thus allowing each team member to do what they do best. As a business owner you should identify your strengths and weaknesses. Hire your weaknesses. What this means is you can’t do everything yourself, and bringing complimentary employees on board will help to round out your overall organization. Maybe you’re looking for a developer or HR person because those aren’t avenues you have time to handle. Whereas Vin brought on safe crackers and speed racers.

Don’t be afraid to change your narrative

Up until Fast Five, the franchise had basically been about our heroes living on the edge of society, racing cars and sometimes busting international drug rings. But mostly it was about really fast cars and a pumping soundtrack. Enter Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as super cop Luke Hobbs. The rest is history. Fast Five re-invigorated the franchise, turning it from a “let’s go fast” film to an Oceans Eleven heist franchise. Fast Five gave the series new direction.

This points to the idea of not being afraid to switch up, to invigorate your staff, to look at your business model from different angles, and ultimately and hopefully, broaden your customer base. There’s a reason Fast Five brought in almost double the revenue of the previous installment, and ever since, the franchise has been bucking the general trend of sequels earning less than the original. Buck that trend. Think outside the box with your business. Identify areas where you and your staff can show improvement. Is your social media presence being felt? Is your website up to date? Do you need to hire The Rock to beef up your sales? Okay okay, maybe that last one is impossible, but you get where I’m coming from. Change is good. Be flexible. Don’t just go to the well for the same old ideas. Our economy is ever changing, and your business should change with it.

Winning is winning!

In the first movie, Vin Diesel just barely wins a road race against Paul Walker’s (RIP) undercover cop. Vin powerfully responds to Paul’s “Dude I almost had you,” with “Ask any racer. Any real racer. It don’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.” Vin Diesel doesn’t apologize for his success, and neither should you.

Don’t apologize for your successes. Don’t complain when you fail. Your business is your business. You pay taxes. You employ people. Sometimes you fail. Your business, by its very nature, contributes to the fabric of the American entrepreneurial spirit. Vin doesn’t cheat to win, but he wins all the same, because he tunes his car, like you should tune your business. Sleek. Powerful. Focused on winning that fat stack of cash at the finish line.

Enjoy Your Success

Vin Diesel says, “I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters… For those ten seconds or less, I’m free.” As a small business owner you need a laser focus. But you also need to enjoy the moment. Know when to celebrate your successes. Know when to let past failures go. Do what Vin does. Enjoy the race.

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